Next-Gen Gaming Blog http://nextgengamingblog.com Another Kitana Media Network site Tue, 20 Feb 2018 18:30:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Next-Gen Gaming Blog (NGB) is the latest addition to the Kitana Media Network, which currently consists of the two premiere footballing gaming websites – FIFA Soccer Blog (FSB) and Winning Eleven Blog (WENB). NGB aims to provide you with the latest gaming news, previews and reviews as well as unique features, all written by honest and passionate gamers. Next-Gen Gaming Blog Next-Gen Gaming Blog admin@project14.co.uk admin@project14.co.uk (Next-Gen Gaming Blog) Kitana Media Network Multi-format gaming podcast Next-Gen Gaming Blog http://nextgengamingblog.com/files/powerpress/ngb-logo-300x300.png http://nextgengamingblog.com Burnout Remaster releases 16th March http://nextgengamingblog.com/blog/burnout-remaster-releases-16th-march/ http://nextgengamingblog.com/blog/burnout-remaster-releases-16th-march/#respond Tue, 20 Feb 2018 17:46:07 +0000 http://nextgengamingblog.com/?p=71717 Back to Paradise It’s official! A Burnout Paradise remaster is coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on March 16th. The remaster contains all 8 original pieces of DLC that launched for the original game. Big Surf Island Cops and Robbers Legendary Cars Burnout Bikes Burnout Paradise Toys Burnout Paradise Party Burnout Paradise Boost Burnout […]

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Back to Paradise

It’s official! A Burnout Paradise remaster is coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on March 16th.

Click here to view the embedded video.

The remaster contains all 8 original pieces of DLC that launched for the original game.

  • Big Surf Island
  • Cops and Robbers
  • Legendary Cars
  • Burnout Bikes
  • Burnout Paradise Toys
  • Burnout Paradise Party
  • Burnout Paradise Boost
  • Burnout Paradise Cagney

It will also make use of the PlayStation 4 Pro’s and Xbox One X’s power outputting at 4k/60fps for silky smooth hi-res gameplay. Standard PS4 and Xbox One/S owners will also be treated to 60fps but in a 1080p flavour.

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Kingdom Come: Deliverance – Review in Progress http://nextgengamingblog.com/blog/kingdom-come-deliverance-review-progress/ http://nextgengamingblog.com/blog/kingdom-come-deliverance-review-progress/#respond Tue, 13 Feb 2018 22:08:25 +0000 http://nextgengamingblog.com/?p=71688 Bohemian Rhapsody.  Game: Kingdom Come: Deliverance Developer: Warhorse Studios Publisher: Warhorse Studios and Deep Silver Reviewed on: Xbox One X Games like Kingdom Come: Deliverance (Kingdom Come) tend to be few and far between. I can only imagine the figurative amount of blood, sweat and tears that has been invested by Warhorse Studios and how they must feel today […]

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Bohemian Rhapsody. 

Game: Kingdom Come: Deliverance
Developer: Warhorse Studios
Publisher: Warhorse Studios and Deep Silver
Reviewed on: Xbox One X

Games like Kingdom Come: Deliverance (Kingdom Come) tend to be few and far between. I can only imagine the figurative amount of blood, sweat and tears that has been invested by Warhorse Studios and how they must feel today as the review embargo lifts and reviews like this begin to emerge. Based on the twenty or so hours that I’ve spent with it, I am confident that it has most certainly been worth the four years of development time and multiple crowd funding drives that have brought it to bear.

Kingdom Come is a relatively hardcore western RPG that is based in Bohemia during the fifteen century. A detailed, well written plot focuses on Henry, the son of a well respected blacksmith in service to the lord of a local castle during the tumultuous reign of Wenceslaus IV. The kings half-brother, Sigismund, has identified the opportunity to expand his influence by kidnapping Wenceslaus and eliminating his key allies, which, of course, leads to much pain, suffering and displacement for the common folk.

I’m going to avoid any major spoilers in this review (especially given the fact that the introductory scenes last three or four hours alone) but suffice it to say that Henry is soon on the road with nothing but his wits and a meager amount of food to sustain him. I have read that Kingdom Come’s Bohemia is a faithful and realistic recreation of the area – which is fantastic for those in the know – but as a game world, it is very nearly flawless, albeit not the biggest I’ve ever seen.

Even so, it is far from small. Rolling hills extend far beyond the horizon, whilst castle towers jut imposingly through dense forest. Babbling brooks cut impressively through the landscape alongside well-trodden paths and under the rickety bridges that occasionally cross them. When you look at towns and villages on a macro scale, their design feels incredibly realistic, with cart tracks that take the long, easy way up to the castle gate, whilst smaller footpaths snake between immovable boulders and gnarled trees.

On the Xbox One X, at least, the game runs extremely well at 1440p with just a little jerkiness if Henry rotates rapidly (the game is played from a first person perspective.) I can’t actually tell whether that is because of frame rate drop or simply because the CryEngine 3 that Kingdom Come is built upon has a feeling of slight sluggishness in almost all games that use it. Either way, it is hardly noticeable, which is great given the state in which games of this complexity often launch in nowadays.

Texture pop in and draw distance are more of a challenge, although it would take an especially harsh critic to suggest that the overall visual impact of Kingdom Come is anything less than breathtaking. For starters, everything within about twenty meters of Henry is staggeringly detailed, with everything from background features like whitewashed walls and timbers looking close to photo realistic. More importantly, the detail on peoples faces, their armor and their clothes is right where you would expect it to be. My personal favorites include features like torchlight reflecting on a gleaming breastplate, then reflecting just as brightly from a recently created puddle – it goes far and beyond what I’ve seen before.

The accompanying soundtrack is almost as impressive, although there are some odd voices among the otherwise stellar cast. British fans will appreciate the appearance of Brian Blessed among the cast, whilst main-man Henry has a gentle, country bumpkin voice that fits his character well. There are countless other voices to pick from – from wizened crones to eloquent lords with buttery American accents. A few seem to jar with the setting at first, but as you become more and more immersed into Henry’s story, everything begins to slot together.

Sound effects are also spot on, with swords clinking and clanking together (or thudding into flesh and leather) convincingly. Most of the time, things will be more peaceful, so the whinnying of horses, the banging of hammers and the song of passing birds is a more common counterpart to Henry’s adventuring – all of that is done well too. The musical score is peaceful and pleasant when it needs to be and just a little more rousing during battle – although I do think it falls a little short of what the genre has seen before.

At a mechanical level, Kingdom Come does deliver a few new concepts, whilst also tweaking some that have perhaps been included in other RPG’s (or survival simulators) before, but which aren’t always very well implemented. Combat, for example, is based on a two button system that allows Henry to either stab with his weapon or to swing it in various directions thanks to input from the right stick and an on screen crosshair shaped like a star. It’s similar to Mount & Blade really, albeit a bit slower and more deliberate, with a stamina system to manage.

So far, I’ve had no trouble with the system when using weapons and it can actually be quite tense, trading parries and blows, circling one another and looking for a killer opening. One hit kills are uncommon, but if Henry is left open to a sword, axe or mace attack in anything less than decent armor, he’ll be bleeding and broken very quickly, which certainly made me think twice before rushing into uneven combat situations. Players will even need to layer armor in order for it to be effective, for example by placing a padded jerkin under steel plate armor – it’s a very detailed (and interesting) system and I am far from reaching a comprehensive understanding of it at this stage.

One reason why you might want to consider any combat carefully is due to the fact that game saves happen relatively infrequently – either because of key quest triggers (which are inconsistent to say the least) or when Henry consumes an expensive drink called Saviour Schnapps. As ever in games like this, the biggest challenge here comes during the early game when Henry has no money and most of the menial tasks available to him pay only a fraction of the cost of a single shot of this most precious liquor.

Less of a concern (but thankfully not quite an annoyance) is the games nourishment system, which forces Henry to eat regularly, but rarely makes it a tremendous problem to do so. Most houses have pots on the stove that can be eaten from without causing their owners to accuse Henry of stealing, whilst fruit and other snacks are often found lying around. In fact, food is so abundant that I do question the inclusion of a nourishment based system, but it does tie in with the games overall desire to appear as realistic as possible.

There’s actually a lot more to say about Kingdom Come, most of which is positive. It has an excellent levelling system that works a bit like the last two Elder Scrolls games in that it is based on usage. There are also some interesting perks that make the player think a little. These things are managed in a nicely intuitive inventory system and the map featured in Kingdom Come is one of the best I’ve come across in a similar game.

There’s also more to say about the game world – about how stealth is tough but rewarding and lockpicking is much harder than it is in other games. Trying to hop up a cliffside like you would in Skyrim will usually result in Henry falling and tumbling down the hill – possibly breaking both his legs and sometimes even dying outright. Imagine that possibility weighted against the fact that you’ve not saved for an hour and you can imagine how you might have to approach Kingdom Come differently to other RPG’s.

Now, I’m not going to give Kingdom Come a score just yet, but I can say that it’s looking very, very good so far. It might even be pushing to be included in more than a few Game of the Year lists, even if it is only February. It looks and sounds superb and whilst I did find the odd glitch, none of them broke it for me. It’s a tough game that has traditional challenges in the form of difficult combat for example, but it also introduces features like falling, a punishing save system and there is the potential to starve to death, I guess.

VERDICT

If you like a high quality, story driven RPG that also has detailed, crunchy mechanics, then not only could you do much, much worse, but you can hardly do better. I hadn’t been playing Kingdom Come for long before I was making references to The Witcher 3, Skyrim, Fallout, Breath of the Wild and so on. That’s tough company to keep, so the fact that I was even thinking it is a ringing endorsement. I should know for certain in a week or so, but right now Kingdom Come is looking like an almost essential purchase.

Score to follow

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Circle is Red, X is Blue… http://nextgengamingblog.com/blog/circle-red-x-blue/ http://nextgengamingblog.com/blog/circle-red-x-blue/#respond Tue, 13 Feb 2018 17:45:10 +0000 http://nextgengamingblog.com/?p=71700 On this special day, Will you be MY Player 2? Sony’s PlayStation Gear store is one place that’s usually a decent place to pick up a ton of fun goodies, but with Valentine’s Day literally just around the corner, how about picking up something for that special co-op partner in your life? There’s something for […]

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On this special day, Will you be MY Player 2?

Sony’s PlayStation Gear store is one place that’s usually a decent place to pick up a ton of fun goodies, but with Valentine’s Day literally just around the corner, how about picking up something for that special co-op partner in your life?

There’s something for everyone, like the DualShock cufflinks to smarten up the man in your life!

https://www.playstation-gear.com/en/products/dualshock-wireless-controller-cufflinks?utm_source=outreach&utm_campaign=DB

How about the gorgeous vinyl set for Horizon Zero Dawn? A must-listen in wonderful analogue quality for a nice evening in front of the fire, away from the Frozen Wilds outside…


https://www.playstation-gear.com/en/products/horizon-zero-dawn-soundtrack-white-vinyl-edition-box-set

Maybe a Destiny 2 bath robe set will intrigue you? Take on the logo of the Guardians, or maybe even delve into the darkness of the Raid with these towelling robes:


https://www.playstation-gear.com/en/products/destiny-2-raid-bathrobe
https://www.playstation-gear.com/en/products/destiny-2-guardian-bathrobe

What better way to sit down with a nice hot cuppa than to put your mugs on a coaster set? How about one adorned with the PlayStation buttons?


https://www.playstation-gear.com/en/categories/coasters?perPage=12&page=1

Of course, there’s always the GOREGOUS Studio Ghibli-esque artwork for The Last Guardian to hang on your wall and truly show off the meaning of companionship:

https://www.playstation-gear.com/en/products/last-gardian-framed-print

Or maybe there’s something else that tickles your fancy at the PlayStation Gear store? Show off any of your purchases with the hashtag #BeMyPlayer2 on Twitter, and be sure to tag us and @PlayStationUK into it as well!

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Beholder Complete Edition PS4 Review. http://nextgengamingblog.com/blog/beholder-complete-edition-ps4-review/ http://nextgengamingblog.com/blog/beholder-complete-edition-ps4-review/#respond Fri, 09 Feb 2018 21:08:57 +0000 http://nextgengamingblog.com/?p=71667 BEHOLD! It’s a wonderful game. Game: Beholder Complete Edition Developer: Warm Lamp Games Publisher: Curve Digital Reviewed on: PS4 In a city which is under control and Governed by a Totalitarian State, you play as Carl, one of the Government’s trusted members whose new job is to spy on the tenants which already live in […]

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BEHOLD! It’s a wonderful game.

Game: Beholder Complete Edition
Developer: Warm Lamp Games
Publisher: Curve Digital
Reviewed on: PS4

In a city which is under control and Governed by a Totalitarian State, you play as Carl, one of the Government’s trusted members whose new job is to spy on the tenants which already live in the apartment complex in which you and your family have just moved in to. It’s your duty to ensure the tenants are following correct protocol and living true to the law. If you do come across a tenant which is breaking the law, you do indeed have to punish them. It is entirely up to you how you use your power as a Government worker but fail any objectives and it is game over. Literally, you miss a phone call from the Ministry? GAME OVER. Essentially, it’s your duty to be the best god damn Government Spy you can be. You’ve no doubt heard of Big Brother, right? It’s a lot like that.

 

 

As soon as you start Beholder: Complete Edition it immediately strikes all the right cords visually. Its dirty and run down (I say that in the nicest way) atmosphere creates a stunning setting for this type of story line. The apartment complex in which you work and live is made up of 5 floors which you must manage and repair. You and your family live in the basement it appears and from there you can call the Ministry and report in any evidence which you find on the other tenants. Think of it as your main HUB world, oh and you can also talk to your family members because honestly, you’d be a pretty bad husband if you ignored your family all the time. Each time you repair a room in the building you are then able to rent out the room and bring in a new tenant. Just like any good neighbour you’re going to want to get to know the fellow tenants and the information they give you is sometimes vital. You can use certain information to blackmail or you can use it to help. Depends how Good/Evil you’re feeling on the day I suppose. You’ll learn a lot from talking to the other characters, even if they don’t speak.

Gameplay itself is varied. It’s a mix of stealth and strategy. To begin with I did find myself a little lost on what to do next as the game does offer very little tutorial, but this does help the player play the game in any way they deem appropriate. Think of it as learning on the job! The game wants you to devise your own plans it seems. Do you work hard and raise the money, so your son can buy books for University? Or do you help a family flee from the somewhat corrupt authority system? OR do you just sit back and watch the world hypothetically burn around you? The decision is yours entirely. You are given around 40 hours per Government request, in game hours I may add so sometimes time can be a little short if you’re knee deep in gathering evidence. Luckily there is the option to pause the game and go over your options. Honestly this is a lovely feature and helps the decision making not to feel rushed and spontaneous. You have time to think your options through and hopefully come to the correct conclusion. You will find yourself sometimes with more than one job in your log. It’s up to you, the player, to decide which job to follow first. Obviously, the jobs from the Government State list are the highest of priority but sometimes you do just need to chill out and help your wife find a big enough saucepan. Saucepan or Government Work? Hmm. Only one of these jobs will score you husband brownie points am-I-right?

 

Gameplay can sometimes feel a little repetitive at times but in my opinion, this just comes with the territory. It’s not a HUGE open world game full of side quests, it’s a quirky very likeable strategy-based game so really the objectives are going to become a little repetitive from time to time. It honestly didn’t bother me, and I had tons of fun throughout. However, you decide to play Beholder Complete Edition there are a decent number of outcomes. Depending on which variety outcome you get helps the player understand the actions of their consequences. There is always more than one way to finish a job so sit back, gather all your evidence and finish the job however you seem fit.

The jump from PC to console has given the game a few errors with its control system. Though it’s a side-scrolling game with its Fallout Shelter like look, there is a depth to the scenery that means you can sometimes be stood a little off so interacting with certain items can at times be a little clumsy. It’s a minor detail and in my eyes, took nothing away from the core game itself. It can just be a little fiddly in places that’s all.

VERDICT

Ultimately Beholder Complete Edition is a very fun likeable game, even for essentially a manager sim. Your actions have consequences, some jobs really do make you question your morals and working your utmost to get the happiest ending to a job possible can be a fun experience. The chalk like art style is very unique and in a world where huge sprawling RPG’s are King, I was thoroughly surprised with Beholder. The audio is also very good, it’s very subtle so it’s not a distraction by any means but it’s there just enough to set the sometimes-stealthy atmosphere in place. Nothing more heart pumping in this game when you’re searching a tenant flat and they walk in on you. Spooky. If you’re looking for something a little different in the video game genre, I highly recommend Beholder Complete Edition. It’s fun, gorgeously bleak to look at (Again I mean that in the nicest way) and it’s just an all-around enjoyable game. The Complete Edition also comes bundled with the DLC Blissful Sleep, a short expansion to play after you’ve completed the main campaign. You play as a new character this time around and it offers up some new missions and storyline to follow.

9/10

 

 

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Destiny 2 – Xur Inventory and Location Week 22 http://nextgengamingblog.com/blog/destiny-2-xur-inventory-location-week-22/ http://nextgengamingblog.com/blog/destiny-2-xur-inventory-location-week-22/#respond Fri, 09 Feb 2018 17:26:44 +0000 http://nextgengamingblog.com/?p=71674  Io, Io, it’s off to Xur we go Xur has arrived! This week you’ll find him on Io, and he’s carrying the The Jade Rabbit (Scout Rifle), Raiden Flux (Hunter Chest), Synthoceps (Titan Arms),  Karnstein Armlets (Warlock Arms). Another week, another Xur inventory after a week full of Iron Banner’ing and some heavy info drops […]

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 Io, Io, it’s off to Xur we go

Xur has arrived! This week you’ll find him on Io, and he’s carrying the The Jade Rabbit (Scout Rifle), Raiden Flux (Hunter Chest), Synthoceps (Titan Arms),  Karnstein Armlets (Warlock Arms).

Another week, another Xur inventory after a week full of Iron Banner’ing and some heavy info drops from Bungie’s new info/update policy! Have a look at Destiny 2’s roadmap below which has some interesting tweaks. Sadly we might have to wait a while for them to get here, but progress is progress!

 

View the full roadmap over at Bungie’s website

 


Want more Destination Destiny content? Check out the NGB Youtube Channel for our Destiny playlist and our Podcast. Take care, Guardians!

 

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Podcast 115 – Rated Fine out of Ten http://nextgengamingblog.com/blog/podcast-115-rated-fine-ten/ http://nextgengamingblog.com/blog/podcast-115-rated-fine-ten/#respond Sat, 03 Feb 2018 10:05:13 +0000 http://nextgengamingblog.com/?p=71664 What’s that coming over the hill, is it a podcast? Yes! It’s a podcast! After taking January off for a multitude of reasons (Mainly being we’re all hella busy and stuff), we’re back! Ben, Andy and Jonny talk about a bunch of things in the gaming world, including: Shadow of the Colossus! EA Buying Microsoft?! […]

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What’s that coming over the hill, is it a podcast? Yes! It’s a podcast!

After taking January off for a multitude of reasons (Mainly being we’re all hella busy and stuff), we’re back! Ben, Andy and Jonny talk about a bunch of things in the gaming world, including:

Shadow of the Colossus!
EA Buying Microsoft?!
Monster Hunter!
A Mario Movie by the Minions studio!
Mario Kart on your phone?!

Be sure to subscribe to the podcast, give us an iTunes rating and we’ll see you next time out!

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http://nextgengamingblog.com/blog/podcast-115-rated-fine-ten/feed/ 0 What’s that coming over the hill, is it a podcast? Yes! It’s a podcast! After taking January off for a multitude of reasons (Mainly being we’re all hella busy and stuff), we’re back! Ben, Andy and Jonny talk about a bunch of things in the gaming world,... What’s that coming over the hill, is it a podcast? Yes! It’s a podcast! After taking January off for a multitude of reasons (Mainly being we’re all hella busy and stuff), we’re back! Ben, Andy and Jonny talk about a bunch of things in the gaming world, including: Shadow of the Colossus! EA Buying Microsoft?! […] Next-Gen Gaming Blog 1:07:01
Destiny 2 – Xur Inventory and Location Week 21 http://nextgengamingblog.com/blog/destiny-2-xur-inventory-location-week-21/ http://nextgengamingblog.com/blog/destiny-2-xur-inventory-location-week-21/#respond Fri, 02 Feb 2018 18:18:16 +0000 http://nextgengamingblog.com/?p=71659  Iron Banner Returns! Xur has arrived! This week you’ll find him on Nessus, and he’s carrying the Prospector (Grenade Launcher), Lucky Raspberry (Hunter Chest), An Insurmountable Skullfort (Titan Helm),  Ophidian Aspect (Warlock Arms). Iron Banner finally makes a return this week after the short break with a slightly revamped reward system that allows you to […]

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 Iron Banner Returns!

Xur has arrived! This week you’ll find him on Nessus, and he’s carrying the Prospector (Grenade Launcher), Lucky Raspberry (Hunter Chest), An Insurmountable Skullfort (Titan Helm),  Ophidian Aspect (Warlock Arms).

Iron Banner finally makes a return this week after the short break with a slightly revamped reward system that allows you to purchase weapons. As well as that you can now grind out those sexy Iron Banner ornaments for your characters and try and grab yourself some of those brand new Masterwork Armour pieces. I’m yet to grab any of the new raid mods but it seems they’re pretty tasty!

LOOT OF THE WEEK – Ophidian Aspect

This might just be my favourite exotic in the game – Weapons ready and reload very quickly. Melee range is extended. What more do I need to say? DAMAGE.


Want more Destination Destiny content? Check out the NGB Youtube Channel for our Destiny playlist and our Podcast. Take care, Guardians!

 

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PlayStation Plus February 2018 line-up http://nextgengamingblog.com/blog/playstation-plus-february-2018-line/ http://nextgengamingblog.com/blog/playstation-plus-february-2018-line/#respond Wed, 31 Jan 2018 19:35:36 +0000 http://nextgengamingblog.com/?p=71652 It’s February tomorrow, ikr?, so that means it’s time for more free PlayStation Plus games! PlayStation 4 PlayStation 4 owners will be getting their hands on both Knack and RiME. Knack is a somewhat controversial platformer that launched alongside the PlayStation 4 back in November 2013. It’s controversial because it largely sits in the ‘meh’ category […]

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It’s February tomorrow, ikr?, so that means it’s time for more free PlayStation Plus games!

PlayStation 4

PlayStation 4 owners will be getting their hands on both Knack and RiME. Knack is a somewhat controversial platformer that launched alongside the PlayStation 4 back in November 2013. It’s controversial because it largely sits in the ‘meh’ category with some outsiders claiming it to be terrible whereas others claim it to be really good. It’s basically all over the place, which is kind of fitting seeing as the game’s main character is made up of a bunch of ‘bits’. Somewhat more positive is RiME, a game about a young boy child that washes up on an island and decides to explore this mysterious place for whatever reason. The game mixes platforming and puzzle elements and was largely considered a decent game.

PlayStation 3

Spelunker HD and Mugen Souls Z will be available to download for PlayStation 3 owners. Spelunker HD is a remake of the NES classic which has a little chap exploring caves for all kinds of treasures, all whilst dodging an array of enemies before him. If, on the other hand, you prefer your games to be extra seedy then Mugen Souls Z will tickle your fancy with its anime girls wearing quite clearly undersized attire. It’s not for me but it might be for you.

PS Vita

Exile’s End is an old-school side-scrolling platformer/shooter that looks to be incredibly difficult, so maybe one for the Volgarr fans out there, whereas Grand Kingdom is a turn-based tactical RPG. Grand Kingdom is also available on Ps4 via cross-play and features heavily on combat techniques, utilising your squad’s special moves and such.

  • PS4
  • Knack
    RiME
  • PS3
  • Spelunker HD
    Mugen Souls Z
  • PS Vita
  • Exile’s End
    Grand Kingdom (also PS4)

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Shadow of the Colossus PS4 Review http://nextgengamingblog.com/blog/shadow-colossus-ps4-review/ http://nextgengamingblog.com/blog/shadow-colossus-ps4-review/#respond Tue, 30 Jan 2018 08:01:51 +0000 http://nextgengamingblog.com/?p=71642 One of the PlayStation 2’s defining titles gets the full remake treatment on the PS4, after having a remastering in the interim. Fumito Ueda’s masterpiece gets handed over to Bluepoint Studios, a studio with an impeccable pedigree for remasters and remakes. Is the magic still in the air with Wander’s hunt for the 16 beasts […]

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One of the PlayStation 2’s defining titles gets the full remake treatment on the PS4, after having a remastering in the interim. Fumito Ueda’s masterpiece gets handed over to Bluepoint Studios, a studio with an impeccable pedigree for remasters and remakes. Is the magic still in the air with Wander’s hunt for the 16 beasts that roam the land?

Game: Shadow of the Colossus
Developer: Bluepoint Studios
Publisher: SIEE
Reviewed on:  PS4 Pro (Review code provided)

I’ve got a confession to make. Before this review, I’d never finished Shadow of the Colossus. I’ve played it quite a lot, but I always seemed to drop off around number 6 or 7. Something about it didn’t quite grab me, and I’m not sure why. I was looking forward to the remake, having gotten The Last Guardian under my belt and thoroughly enjoyed it. For the uninitiated, Shadow of the Colossus is a tale of Wander, a boy who has stumbled upon a strange land, and needs to vanquish 16 enormous beasts to revive his female companion, Mono. It’s essentially a puzzle game disguised as a boss rush, with a bit of open world exploration thrown in for good measure.

For those more familiar with the game, and indeed Ueda’s catalogue, the feeling of familiarity as you leave the temple for the first time and head off to attack the first colossus is almost overwhelming. While the game is structurally the same, the technical leaps and bounds that have been made since the original release have made the game feel almost like a brand new title. The first time you encounter a colossus, there is a definite sense of “Oh… Oh good god” that creeps over you. The size difference of the beast and Wander and the colossi is simply astonishing. It’s not until you get on top of them that you really start to appreciate it though. Clambering up the fur-lined back of a colossus the size of a building is a visual treat, with the power of the PS4 being used to its fullest potential. When running at 60fps on the PS4 Pro, the hair and fur physics are absolutely astonishing. The hair runs over Wander almost with the fluidity of water, and if it weren’t for the grip meter being continually drained, it’s something that I could stick around and watch for hours.

It’s worth talking about the Pro enhancements, because they’re fantastic. Playing a Team Ico game in 60fps is definitely strange, and dropping between the two modes is certainly jarring for the first 30 seconds or so, but once you’ve adjusted, your eyes are in for a treat regardless of which mode you decide to go with. Cinematic Mode sticks to a solid 30fps, with a host of visual improvements. Downsampled from 1440p, there are additional lighting, particle and visual effects. If you’re playing on a 4K screen, you’ll be able to play it in 2160p, with HDR enabled as well. It’s not a feature I’ve been able to check out just yet (I’m a poor 1080p scrub). The base PS4 is not left in the shade with this one either – It runs at a rock solid 30fps throughout. It’s a huge achievement from Bluepoint to be able to push out a full on remake of this undeniable quality, without tarnishing any of the original game’s artistic vision. Every piece of artwork has been redone for this remake, and Bluepoint have done a wonderful job bringing it into the modern era.

It’s really hard to review a remake like this, in all honesty. If you have any fondness for the original game, it’s a perfect recreation of how you imagined the world to be back in 2006. The control system has been refined to make it a bit less fiddly to play. No longer are you going to be suffering from hand cramps as you try and take down the Colossi! There are a host of collectibles and other goodies to unearth, as well as a new set of trophies for all of you who can’t get enough of the shiny blighters! If I can delve back into the original for a minute, the art direction and everything else associated with it is pretty much the pinnacle of what video games can achieve. Each colossus is intricately modelled with defined weak spots and a believable AI behind it. To say that the game stands on its own in 2018 is testament to just how accurate the many superlatives that were bestowed upon it back in 2006 were.

I won’t go into spoiler territory for those who have yet to complete the game, but there is something to be said about a game that can make you feel increasingly dark and isolated without a word really being spoken. There’s no obvious narrative thread, no fully voice acted cast, but Shadow of the Colossus is a game that I’ve seen make grown men weep.

VERDICT

Shadow of the Colossus is one of the most critically revered games of the PS2 era, and with this remake, Bluepoint Games have shown that it can stand head and shoulders above most games that are released today. A wonderful experience from start to finish, and a game that is considered to be a landmark in the medium, and with good reason. A phenomenal game that has not only stood the test of time, it has become an absolute must-play in anyone’s PlayStation 4 library through a simply staggering amount of work from Bluepoint. A seminal game that should not be missed.

10/10

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Destiny 2 – Xur Inventory and Location Week 20 http://nextgengamingblog.com/blog/destiny-2-xur-inventory-location-week-20/ http://nextgengamingblog.com/blog/destiny-2-xur-inventory-location-week-20/#respond Fri, 26 Jan 2018 17:59:48 +0000 http://nextgengamingblog.com/?p=71636  Update, update, update! Xur has arrived! This week you’ll find him on Titan, and he’s carrying the Sweet Business (Auto Rifle), Graviton Forfeit (Hunter Helm), Dunemarchers (Titan legs),  Skull of Dire Ahamkara (Warlock Helm). Hot on the tail of some announced changes via Bungie’s TWAB post, Xur is back again with a lovely bunch of […]

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 Update, update, update!

Xur has arrived! This week you’ll find him on Titan, and he’s carrying the Sweet Business (Auto Rifle), Graviton Forfeit (Hunter Helm), Dunemarchers (Titan legs),  Skull of Dire Ahamkara (Warlock Helm).

Hot on the tail of some announced changes via Bungie’s TWAB post, Xur is back again with a lovely bunch of loot. If you picked up the Titan’s War Rig last week then its partner in crime, the Sweet Business, is here to make dreams come true – just pull the trigger and make some coffee.

LOOT OF THE WEEK – Graviton Forfeit

A popular helm in Destiny 1, and although not quite as powerful in the sequel it certainly has its place. There’s a little increase in invisibility time once you’ve dodge rolled on your Nightstalker, plus whilst you’re invisible your melee recharges faster… smoke, invisibility, arrows made of magic – it’s not all bad being a hunter.


Want more Destination Destiny content? Check out the NGB Youtube Channel for our Destiny playlist and our Podcast. Take care, Guardians!

 

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